The original Star Wars film is famous for its iconic characters and memorable story, but the film was an astonishing technical achievement as well. George Lucas formed his own effects company called Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) in order to create sequences that had never been seen before. Advancing the motion control system from 2001, Star Wars set a new standard for what was possible with models and miniatures as audiences were treated to new planets and exciting dogfights in space. It was an easy choice for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars.
The success of Star Wars ushered in a new wave of effects-driven blockbusters that dominated the box office in the 1970s and 80s, many of which were made possible by this film’s revolutions. ILM also went on to become the most well-known special effects house, having served on over 300 films. The Star Wars sequels had their own innovations (Yoda puppet), but for many, the original is ground zero for modern effects.